Saints complete 5 last-minute roster moves before kickoff vs. Buccaneers

USA TODAY Sports Media Group
USA TODAY Sports Media Group

The New Orleans Saints filed a series of final roster moves ahead of their Week 15 prime-time game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, bringing up three players from their practice squad while swapping one tight end for another on injured reserve. Here’s what you need to know about the latest changes:

OL #77 James Carpenter signed to the 53-man roster

Carpenter first joined the New Orleans practice squad a week ago and immediately got called up to the active roster for their Week 14 win over the New York Jets. Now he’s on the 53-man roster and should play against Tampa Bay. Here’s what I wrote of Carpenter at the time of his signing:

Carpenter, 32, is an 11-year veteran with 127 games behind him, having entered the league as a first-round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks back in 2011. He initially started at left tackle (his college position at Alabama) before converting to guard, where he’s remained for most of his career. He joined the New York Jets in 2015 and spent the 2021 season with the Atlanta Falcons, who released him back in March. Carpenter was with the Baltimore Ravens practice squad for a month during the season but his only snaps came on special teams in a Week 10 appearance.

OL #66 Forrest Lamp elevated from the practice squad

Lamp has been called up before but has yet to get into a game with the Saints. The former Los Angeles Chargers starter and second-round draft pick has been buried on the depth chart at a position lacking great options from top to bottom. He’ll have another opportunity to help out against Tampa Bay.

WR #18 Easop Winston Jr. elevated from the practice squad

Winston filled in for Deonte Harris against the Jets and looked good in the return game, showing some aggression and shiftiness to pick up 54 return yards on four punts (an average of 13.5 yards per try). Expect him to continue to work in that role in Sunday’s game with the Buccaneers though he could get snaps in the receivers rotation if Lil’Jordan Humphrey can’t play due to an injury.

TE #82 Adam Trautman activated from injured reserve

As was previously reported, Trautman is back from injured reserve and he’s expected to play against the Buccaneers. It remains to be seen how important a role he’ll see so soon after returning with Nick Vannett playing well on top of the depth chart. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out at tight end with Trautman, Vannett, and Juwan Johnson available together.

TE #45 Garrett Griffin designated to injured reserve

Griffin will miss the next three weeks recovering from a hamstring injury, making him eligible to return in time for the regular season finale on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. He’s been a solid backup blocking tight end and has helped out on special teams. While he isn’t a big name, his absence is just one more hurdle for New Orleans to try and overcome.

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